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tv   Witness  BBC News  April 1, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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creates a listening as well. it creates a com pletely listening as well. it creates a completely — you look at everything much more carefully. it's really great. let's catch up with the weather. jay, | let's catch up with the weather. jay, i think we've got spring weather proper now. it's a mixed bag. we have a mixed bag of sunshine and showers this afternoon. some pretty lively downpours as well. the showers have been quite frequent gci’oss showers have been quite frequent across northern parts of england and really quite wet for some places. nowhere really immune from the showers. top temperatures 16 celsius, closer to 12—13 further west you go. overnight, the showers become few and far twain. the winds
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will feel light. towns and cities, 6-7 c, but will feel light. towns and cities, 6—7 c, but in rural spot may be a touch of frost. proud amounts increase into the afternoon, a few rogue showers but a pretty decent day with light winds, sunny spells and maybe 16—17 in the south eastern corner. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines at 2.30pm. the uk says it will stand up for gibraltar‘s interests after the territory accused spain of using brexit to forward its territorial aims. research says that nearly half the people who used the government
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help to buy scheme to buy a house did not need it. bbc news learns that only 5% of prison staff in england and wales will get new pay allowances of up to £5,000. now on bbc news, it's time for witness with tanya beckett. hello, i'm tanya beckett and welcome to witness, here at the british library, in london. this month, we have anotherfive people who witnessed extraordinary moments in history first—hand. we will hear from this woman who volunteered with mother theresa in the slums of calcutta,
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the worst crash in aviation history, and the environmentalist behind the world's first bans on cars. bust first, in 1972, us president richard nixon travelled to china for a historic meeting, rebuilding relations between the countries after 22 years of cold war. winston lord was one of the american aids on the trip. radio announcer: today, president nixon is visiting china, the first american statesman to set foot on chinese soil since chairman mao came to power in 19119. frankly many of us were a little disappointed in the arrival arrangements. this was a huge geopolitical event, and we na vely thought that there would be big crowds. in fact, there were just a few people, but then we recognised again that this was in keeping with the realistic fact
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that we had been enemies for 22 years, and you can't turn the page immediately. and so these two great countries, the most powerful nation on earth visits the most populist nation on earth. i was special assistant to henry kissinger, the national security advisor, and i was in charge of orchestrating and putting together the thick briefing books for the president, for his trip to china. my first impressions that beijing was that it was a very bleak, rather depressing place. it was very drab. everybody was dressed the same. very few cars. mostly bicycles. we arrived at the guesthouse and to our surprise, they announced that chairman mao would like to see president nixon right away. this was chairman mao acting like a traditional chinese emperor, not giving you any warning as to when you're going to be summoned to his presence. i have worked for many presidents, including several close—up. president nixon was by far the most well—versed and strategic in international relations.
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he was extraordinary. whatever his flaws, one has to grant him that. as a person, he was quite shy. he was always somewhat ill—at—ease and engaging in banter, or small talk. both sides had clear reasons for trying to reopen communications after 22 years of mutual enmity and indeed fighting each other in korea. when you meet someone of historic significance you have to figure out whether you are impressed with the personality because you know he is important, or whether you would be impressed if you did not know who he was. kissinger and i agreed that even if we went to a cocktail party and chairman mao was there and we did not know who he was, he would have exceeded some power and attraction. this is not to glorify him. he was a monster in many ways. the meeting itself, at first, puzzled us. it was only about an hour with translation.
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but it was declared a success from the very beginning. at the conclusion of the meeting, the chinese came in with photographs of all of us at the meeting. president nixon and kissinger looked at each other and said that mr lord was never at this meeting. please cut him out all the photos. adviser i was sitting right here, next to kissinger. it was a ready humiliating for the us secretary of state not to be the meeting while the national security adviser was. but to have in addition to that some punk in his early 30s also sitting in on the meeting... it is worth coming 16,000 milesjust to stand here and see the wall. join me in raising your glasses to chairman mao
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and to the friendship of the chinese and american people. we were in the middle of a geopolitical earthquake. there was a combination of nurses deal working on this, but also there was a combination of nerves of steel working on this, but also a sense that we were frankly in the midst of making history. and winston lord went on to be the ambassador to china and was involved in the country for the rest of his career. next, in march, 1997, catholic nun mother teresa stepped down from her charity work with the poor in india due to herfailing health. mari marcel thekaekara volunteered at her orphanage, as a young girl. children sing it was known as one of the poorest cities in the world.
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you would see people who were lying in a pool of their vomit, in their own excreta, in filthy clothes, covered in lice. so to go and lift of those people and take them to the home and clean them, it took a lot of kindness to do the kind of work they did. announcer: mother teresa and her sisters of charity live in one of calcutta's poorest slums. in addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the sisters take one of service and obedience to the poor. you can walk in. her home was five minutes from where i lived. we saw her every morning on the way to school.
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we had a mother teresa nun who came and said if you would like to come and help come you can come to the babies' home. it was quite overwhelming. they had rows and rows of cots. so we went and spent a morning helping to give the babies a bath. it was nice to hold the bottle and feed a baby and these children, they needed affection a lot, so the babies liked to be cuddled. my sister went around with mother teresa's nuns and they used to regularly visit abortion clinics and pick up live babies from abortion buckets. we once saw a baby thrown in a garbage dump. i found the very authoritarian way in which the order was run not something that i would ever be able to agree with.
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i remember thinking that the nuns lived such an austere life. she said, you should suffer for christ and offer your suffering to god. and i could not bear that, because i thought we should try to fight poverty, and that people don't fight poverty, and that people don't have to suffer so much on earth. i saw mother teresa again many, many years later. she was that much older, more wrinkled. my mother asked mother teresa to bless her grandchildren. and my mother said to her, my daughter used to come and volunteer. then she said very, quite arrogantly, i felt, at the time, she said yes, yes, you used to do these things when you were little. what do you do now?
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i have never doubted for a second that i have done the right thing and this was the will of god. it was his choice. there were millions out for her funeral. things like saints, that is not my thing at all, but since millions of people wanted her to be a saint, i think the work she did was exceptional. and if she has to be a saint, she has to be a saint. mari speaking at home in bangalore. in march 1970 seven, two jumbo jets collided, in march 1977, two jumbo jets collided,
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killing 583 people. it was the worst crash in aviation history. captain robert bragg was the co—pilot on the pan am plane that was one of the few who survived the collision. announcer: the jumbo swept out of the mist at more than 150 miles an hour. it crashed into the plane straddling the runway. the fog came in and the visibility was just about nil. and the captain was taxiing the aeroplane only at about three knots, because that was as fast as he felt like it was safe to go. the pan am aircraft was given permission to leave the stand and head down the taxi to the takeoff point. now, the pan am pilot says that he was told to proceed down the main runway, and to leave the main runway and back onto the taxiway, at the next junction. he was never able to do that, because that was the point of impact. we looked up and saw him coming
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down the runway at us. i saw his landing light shaking, and that is how i knew he was moving. i could not believe that man was taking off. i started yelling to get off the runway and the captains started turning the aeroplane. i looked back out my right side window, and saw him lifting off the runway. so i close my eyes and ducked. and basically said a very short prayer that i hoped he missed us. when he hit us, all that was, was a short bump. no big noise, no big shaking. i thought, thank god. then i looked up for the fire control handles. and that is when i first noticed that the top
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of the aeroplane was gone. so ijumped to the ground, which was a0 feet from the cockpit floor to the ground. and i thank the lord that i hit on some grass. there were about 50 people that had already gotten out on be left wing of the aeroplane. and i started yelling at them to jump off. and one poor lady, shejumped first, and everybody elsejumped right on her and broke her back and both legs and both arms. after we had been out there probably five minutes, the centre fuel tank blew up. and that sent a flame probably 250 feet in the air. and then the air plane just fell apart. we only had like 65 that got out of our plane altogether. announcer: the plane burst into flames and carried
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on down the runway, disintegrating as it went, until the main piece of the fuselage came to rest more than half a mile away from the point of impact. no one survived the klm crash. i always from day one believed it was the klm captain's fault. he disregarded all procedure when he went to take the takeoff. nobody will ever know why he was in such a hurry and took off the way he did. captain robert bragg continued to fly until he retired. he spoke to us in 2016 and has since sadly passed away. remember, you can watch witness every month on the bbc news channel, or catch up on over 1,000 radio programmes on our online archive. just go to the website below. next, we are going back to 1989,
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when mexico city took the unprecedented step of severely restricting private car use on its streets. roman ojeda mestre was the person behind the effort to cut pollution. another miserable, choking day in mexico city, undoubtedly the most polluted capital on earth. the smog slowly poisons the 20 million inhabitants. just breathing is like smoking a0 cigarettes a day. mexican traffic is the worst in the world. millions of large, thirsty american cars criss—crossing the world's second largest city without a thought for fuel conservation. and he still campaigns on environmental issues in mexico. finally this month, we're going all the way back to prerevolution russia.
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pioneering photographer sergei mikhailovich prokudin—gorskii travelled to the furthermost corners of the russian empire and recorded a disappearing lifestyle in magnificent colour. michel soussaline is his grandson. my grandfather was one of the pioneers of colour photography. it's a unique example of this quality of colour. this is close to 100 years old. at that time you have to realise that the only photograph in colour were taken indoors.
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he was probably the first to do a lot of work outside. this is a very nice picture on the mariinskii canal, where he did a lot of shots. you really feel something extremely natural. you can really feel that this guy was very pleased to be taken and at the same time the composition of the picture is great. he was able to travel anywhere in the empire. he got permission from the tsar to travel everywhere, even the areas that were very difficult to access. bukhara today is uzbekistan. it was at that time turkestan.
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it's in the south—east of the empire, bordering iran, afghanistan and china. my grandfather was somebody who was extremely open—minded. he was really a renaissance man and in his work he tried to show the different categories of people, in terms of religion, origin. this is a jewish school. a teacher and some pupils. the image was obtained by projecting
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the free negative on glass, in black and white, through a colour lens for the projection, recreating the colour. this is the original notebook of my grandfather, with a lot of technical description and some documents, like with free pictures in colour. it's a kind of eccentric renaissance man. i like that, because i'm a little bit like that, also. i try to be. and the more you learn, the more you find this person extremely attractive and quite fascinating. sergei prokudin—gorskii left russia shortly after the revolution. he died in paris, in 19114. that's all from us this month. i hope you willjoin me next month,
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from here at the british library. we will have five extraordinary accounts of history through the eyes of the people who were there. for now, from me and the rest of the team at witness, goodbye. good afternoon. it's a fairly typical april day with spells of showers and sunshine. some of the showers and sunshine. some of the showers could be heavy, with hail and rumbles of thunder. it's been pretty wet for some parts of northern england, and there's more
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chance of using sunshine in scotland and in the south. but the showers are anywhere really, and when they do come along there could be some hailand do come along there could be some hail and thunder. good for the gardens but also some rain. northern ireland, scotland, more like scattered showers with some rumbles of thunder. 12 celsius in glasgow. things were quiet down tonight and the skies will be clearing, the winds falling light and it's a good recipe for a chilly night. the looting indicates a touch of frost in rural parts of northern ireland and scotland. high pressure building in over the weekend, settling things
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down nicely. a bright start. chilly, lots of sunshine. the odd rogue show up lots of sunshine. the odd rogue show upfor lots of sunshine. the odd rogue show up for some eastern lots of sunshine. the odd rogue show up for some eastern areas, lots of sunshine. the odd rogue show up for some eastern areas, but fine and dry, sunny spells. it looks good for the boat races this afternoon temperatures looking good. no problems with the weather at the premier league matches. some eight showers, turning chilly overnight bus in good spills of sunshine. we are going to see whether from coming in from the south—west. down towards
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the south eastern corner is looking pretty good with spells of sunshine and some reasonable temperatures. thanks, once again. this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm: seniorfigures in gibraltar have demanded that the british government stands firm and resists moves by spain to regain sovereignty of the rock. the foreign secretary, borisjohnson, tweeted his support: "the uk remains implacable and rock—like in our support for gibraltar." research says that nearly half the people who used government help—to—buy scheme to buy a house did not need it. bbc news learns that only 5% of existing prison staff in england and wales will get new pay allowances of £5,000. also in this hour — the row at the heart
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of the eurovision song contest the hosts ukraine face expulsion from future competitions unless russia's entrant is allowed into the country. and a look at the technology of sound, that's coming
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